Interest Rate Roundup

Thursday, August 30, 2007

OFHEO home price index data out ...

There are plenty of ways to measure what home prices are doing. One of the most widely followed reports is the one from the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight -- OFHEO. The Q2 figures just came out (warning: Large PDF file). They show ...

* Home prices were UP 3.19% from a year ago. That's down from a 4.45% gain in Q1 2007 and a 9.98% gain in Q2 2006. Moreover, it's the smallest gain since Q2 1997, when prices rose 3%.

* On a quarter-over-quarter basis, prices were up 0.08%. That's down from a 0.55% gain in Q1 2007 and a 1.3% gain in Q2 2006. It's also the worst reading since Q4 1994, when prices dipped 0.23%.

* By state, Utah showed the fastest rate of appreciation over the past year at +15.28%. Wyoming (+12.84%) and Washington (+9.12%) were next in line. Five states showed price declines -- Rhode Island (-0.97%), Massachusetts (-0.99%), California (-1.38%), Michigan (-1.42%), and Nevada (-1.45%)

* By city, Wenatchee, WA was the appreciation winner (+23.54%), with Provo-Orem, UT (+18.21%) and Salt Lake City, UT (+16.03%) close behind. The weakest links? Merced, CA (-8.65%), Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta, CA (-8.1%) and Stockton, CA (-7.2%). A total of 61 out of 287 metro areas showed price declines. That's 21.3% of the sample. In Q1 2007, 46 of 285 cities showed declines -- 16.1%. In other words, price declines are becoming more widespread.

Sadly, my own metro (West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach, FL) ranked 272nd on the list, with a 1-year decline of 4.51%. I don't think they give out ribbons for that kind of performance.


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